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Volleyball Training Journal issue 010
February 05, 2008

1) Sports Nutrition

2) Second Referee, Procedures and Techniques



When thinking about sports nutrition, probably the two things that come to mind are (1) what to eat (carbohydrates, protein, fat, and more specifically, what types of foods), and (2) timing of eating.

  1. First, it's important to understand the difference between carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

    Carbohydrates are the sugars and starches found in breads, cereals, fruits, etc.

    You can generally categorize carbohydrates into two categories - simple and complex.

    Simple carbohydrates enter your blood stream quicker therefore are ready to use right away.

    Complex carbohydrates won't necessarily go through your system as quickly and the energy can be stored for using later.

    Protein provides your body material for building blood cells, hormones, body tissue, and other important substances. Protein is found in meats, eggs, milk, and many vegetables and starches.

    Protein is less often used for energy compared to carbohydrates and fats.

    Fat provides energy, stores energy, and is used to insulate the body. Consuming dietary fat is necessary for the absorption of vitamins, nutrients, and phytochemicals from fruits and vegetables.

    Fat is used for energy a great deal during aerobic exercise and used much less for energy during anaerobic exercise.

    Fats are also important for your brain and nervous system.

    Carbohydrates, protein, and fat are sources of energy essential to your health.

    When thinking about sports nutrition, you should also consider (1) appropriate calorie level and (2) appropriate nutrient levels.

    Calorie levels refer to the amount of carbohydrates, proteins, fats you should consume.

    On food products you buy from the grocery store, you'll notice most nutrition labels measure the amount of carbohydrates, protein and fat by grams.

    One gram of carbohydrates is about 4 kilocalories.

    One gram of protein is about 4 kilocalories.

    One gram of fat is about 9 kilocalories.

    It's important to think about how many calories you should be consuming during your volleyball tournaments. Then also, it's important to consider how much (total calories of each and ratio) of each nutrients you should be consuming.

    Generally, you can get a pretty good idea of how many calories you should be consuming by factoring in your age, height, weight, and activity level.

    The amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fat you should consume each day can be calculated by percentage of total calories or total grams.

    For example, one athlete might follow a 50/20/30 split. These numbers are percentages of total calories consumed. This would be 50% carbohydrates, 25% protein, and 25% fat.

    (I'm going to use the term calorie instead of kilocalorie because that's what most people think the numbers on nutrition labels are, even though they are really kilocalories.)

    A 30 year old male volleyball player that is 6 feet tall and weighs 170 lbs might shoot for a 2800 calorie a day diet. With a 50/20/30 split that's 1400 calories from carbohydrates, 560 from protein and 840 from fat. That would be 350 grams carbohydrates, 140 grams protein, and 93 grams of fat.

    With all that said, it's important to mention there is no "one size fits all" sports nutrition program. Every athlete is different. Body size, age, sex, genetics, and then also training conditions, length of training sessions, frequency of training, and intensity of training are all factors to be considered for good sports nutrition.

    Obviously, the best diet for an athlete is one that's individualized.

  2. Nutrition timing is the aspect of eating and drinking at the right time.

    What you eat and when, can influence how well you play in a volleyball tournament.

    Some General Guidelines:

    1. Always eat breakfast. A breakfast with a good portion of carbohydrates (breads, cereals, etc) is a good way to start your day.

    2. Eat every two or three hours. Maybe try to eat snacks between matches. Although consuming simple carbohydrates (Gatorade, etc.) immediately before and after you play will help most players, you should experiment with combinations of simple and complex to see what works best for you.

    3. And of course, drink plenty of water. Certain sports drinks can be a good choice because they contain electrolytes (mainly sodium) that help replace what's lost through sweating.

    4. Generally, consuming a lot of protein throughout the day isn't a good idea, but it really depends on the athlete. Meat such as steak and chicken takes a long time to digest and can give you a heavy feeling while not sitting well in your stomach when you are playing. Protein can also give you a full feeling which will make eating throughout the day harder.

      Carbohydrates are more readily available for energy use, so you shouldn't be consuming a ton of protein and fat during your tournaments anyway. But again, it really depends on the athlete. These are just general guidelines.

Follow the link for more tournament nutrition to help you perform your best on tournament day.



With the USAV season under way, I thought I'd go over some second referee (R2) techniques.

Here's a quick tip for the second referee to help matches run better.

Always blow the whistle for timeouts and subs. Timeouts and substitutions are the time of the game where the attention is taken away from the R1 and put on the R2.

The times when the R2 is in charge of the court - timeouts, subs, and any other time where the referees need to communicate with coaches or the people at scorekeepers table - these situations are where the R2 takes control and at the end of these situations the R2 signals back to the R1 signaling the court is now in the R1's control again.

Follow the link for second referee protocol for calling the game and a discussion of correct down ref training techniques.

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